In the fourth article of our series ‘Tendoryu Aikido dojos worldwide’ we learn from Tim Jensen about the past and future of the Danish aikido.
by Tim Jensen, Herlev Aikido, Denmark
Denmark is a small country with about 5 million inhabitants (a lot smaller than Tokyo). Denmark is mostly known for the beautiful amusement park “Tivoli”, The Little Mermaid, the writer Søren Kirkegaard and the fairytales written by Hans Christian Andersen.
In a historical perspective you can say that the Danish vikings were a counterpart to the Japanese samurais. In medieval times the vikings ruled great parts of the Northern Europe. They were famous and notorious for their wildness and aggressiveness.
Tendoryu Aikido in Denmark was established in the beginning of this millennium. But there has actually been Tendoryu Aikido activities since the 1970s. Back then Aikido was almost unknown in Denmark. But a small group, including Stig Weimar and Tim Jensen, got in contact with Peter Haase in Germany and through this contact a range of Tendoryu Aikido practice were held in Denmark. Back then Denmark was also represented at Shimizu Senseis seminars in Germany. Tim Jensen participated at Herzogenhorn for the first time in 1982.
At the end of the 1990s Stig Weimar established a little Tendoryu Aikido group. This group organised several small seminars and was in contact with the Dojo of Peter Haase in Germany.
In 2000 Tim Jensen founded the Dojo Herlev Aikido close to Copenhagen. The following years Tendoryu Aikido in Denmark expanded further with two more Dojos. In 2003 Varde Aikido (Flemming Eriksen) was established and in 2010 Vejle Aikido (Steffen Mortensen) saw the light of day.
During the last 10 years Tendoryu Aikido in Denmark has developed positively as a result of hard work and a lot of practise within the four Danish Dojos. Many people in the Tendoryu family have helped and supported us during this period. Especially Eckhardt Hemkemeier from Seishinkan in Hamburg has been a great and memorable help.
As a result of this, Shimizu Sensei visited Herlev Aikido in 2009. It was a very special and significant experience for us all to meet and learn from Shimizu Sensei in Denmark. And this visit has been important to the further development to strength and enlarge Tendoryu Aikido in Denmark.
Since the four Dojos are small it is very important for us to have an international view. The best way to continue the development is to also practice with people from other Tendoryu Aikido Dojos. Therefore we participate in many seminars especially when Shimizu Sensei comes to Europe.
In 2009 Kathrine Torp, Steffen Mortensen and Tim Jensen participated in the first TWA-seminar in Izu, Japan. Now there is only 6 months left to the second TWA-seminar and this time even more Aikidokas from Denmark will join. We are looking very much forward to the seminar and hope to see many people from all over the world.
In the future of Tendoryu Aikido in Denmark, I wish that we can be even stronger and proud of practicing Tendoryu Aikido. There exist a lot of “martial arts” in the world but, with my comprehension and understanding (even though I don’t know everything), I believe that very few are capable of conveying Budo into life, practice and the daily life such as Shimizu Sensei and his Tendoryu Aikido does.